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Getting Engaged

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With drug-related deaths once again hitting record levels, it’s never been more urgent to make sure we’re properly engaging with so-called ‘chaotic clients’.

Just a child

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The exploitation involved in ‘county lines’ is an urgent call for action, as DDN reports. The brutal killing of a 16-year-old boy shook his community...

Positive signals

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Giving families a clear and consistent route to help makes all the difference, as DDN reports. ‘When you work with families in an uncoordinated way...

We need to talk about medical marijuana

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While it may be nominally legal, medical marijuana needs to be far more easily available and its use encouraged by treatment services.

Supervised humiliation?

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In the real world, methadone provision too often means diversion, using on top – and humiliating supervised consumption.

Leanne Smullen-Bethell – I am a…

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Leanne Smullen-Bethell is head of house at Phoenix’s National Specialist Family Service, where people can seek treatment for their substance use problems while staying...

Opening the Doors

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The efforts to get homeless people into emergency accommodation must not be wasted, as DDN reports. Homelessness has been long been regarded as complex, difficult,...

Blocking the path

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What proportion of England’s problem drinkers are actually in treatment? And are increasing rates of unmet need the result of austerity-driven funding cuts? Mike...

We need to talk about pleasure

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Our refusal to acknowledge that drugs can be a happy experience is hampering our attempts at treatment, says Nick Goldstein.

In tune with nature

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From the heart of the Cornish countryside Bosence Farm Community has been developing ecotherapy, as Tom Packer explains.       

The Mother of Invention

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It’s now almost six months since lockdown revolutionised the way services operate. But could this have actually led to an increase in service user...

Doorstep Challenge

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Strong partnerships could overturn nimbyism and make supervised injecting facilities a reality, DDN reports. Read the full article in DDN Magazine A supervised injecting facility (SIF,...

A Sure Start

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One of the key tasks of the national recovery champion role is to bring people together within the addictions field to tackle a common...

Long Hot Summer

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Summer weather and lack of other entertainment mean that young people are once again turning to outdoor partying on a large scale. Drug services...

The Right Questions

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Now in its 30th year, the Unlinked Anonymous Monitoring Survey is a vital tool for harm reduction, says Emily Phipps. This year the Unlinked Anonymous...

Aiming High

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Even in the most difficult circumstances recovery is always possible, says Jody Leach.

Doubling Down

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With World Hepatitis Day on 28 July, now is the time to redouble our efforts towards hepatitis C elimination, says Rachel Halford. World Hepatitis Day...

The Heat is On – Doctor Wars (part two)

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In the second part of ‘Doctor Wars’, Bill Nelles describes the tumultuous days of the 1980s. Read part one here. By 1983, the cold war among...

Safeguarding Sanctuary

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The lockdown has forced services providing domestic abuse support to become even more resourceful and innovative, says Miranda Hawtrey. Read the full article in DDN...

Bill Nelles – Doctor Wars (part one)

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In the first part of his two part series 'Doctor Wars' Bill Nelles describes how the running battles between substance misuse clinicians in the...

The Benzo Trap

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Improving our understanding of benzodiazepines would save many lives, says Kevin Flemen. Non-medical use of benzodiazepines creates big challenges for treatment services. There need to...

Commissioning Quality

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The new national substance misuse commissioner forum will play a vital role in responding to future challenges, say Chris Lee and Prof Jim McManus. Even...

Gender imbalance

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The lockdown may be having a disproportionate effect on female service users, warns Gordon Hay. The coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent lockdown impacts on all...

In the Picture

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The parliamentary group discussion moved to Zoom for its first meeting since the crisis hit services.

Staying Alert

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The sector has risen admirably to the challenges of COVID-19. But it needs to remain vigilant when it comes to what happens next

June Letters and Comment

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Letters and comment from June DDN magazine

Zooming in

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Technology is helping to make sure that recovery workers and clients stay connected.

Grow a little kindness

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SIG Penrose Roots is a garden-based community recovery project that provides a therapeutic growing space for service users, members, volunteers and the wider community.

A new normal

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Within days of lockdown being announced, Lancashire’s recovery communities had transformed their way of life on a grand scale, as Chris Lee explains. We are...

Staying on track

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What does COVID-19 mean for hepatitis C elimination plans in London? Dee Cunniffe gives an update. Two months ago, on 2 March, senior leaders from...

Remembering Simon

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Tributes have been paid to Simon Morgan; Change Grow Live recovery worker, DDN volunteer, and a much-loved member of the Stratford-upon-Avon music scene, who...

Home from home

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Keeping the home ties strong is one important way that Phoenix Futures keeps their residents’ motivation high, says Liam Ward Aligned with government guidance –...

Shared perspectives

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Having had to postpone his trip to the DDN conference, Bill Nelles reflects on the differences in drug policy between the UK and his...

Uncharted territory

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The coronavirus outbreak has transformed almost every aspect of our society at dizzying speed. DDN looks at the impact so far on treatment services...

Dame Carol Black Review – Next Steps

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Dame Black has spoken loud and clear. How policy makers respond will be crucial.

Matters of Life and Death

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Kevin Flemen confronts a topic we all need to talk about.

Become a Playwright

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Outside Edge Theatre Company invite you to enter an exciting competition with a life-changing prize. Outside Edge Theatre Company (OETC) is the UK’s only theatre...

A safe space

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The threat of COVID-19 has prompted Phoenix Futures to make their rehabs even more of a sanctuary

Believe in better

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Having to close Build on Belief because of coronavirus was like losing a limb, but they’ll soon be back to doing what they do best.

New horizons?

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Will the coronavirus pandemic give us an opportunity to confront society’s problems, adopt radical policies, and emerge with steadfast solutions, asks Martin Blakebrough. A crisis...

Tips for the home teacher

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With many more weeks of home schooling to go, Becky Cranham's tips might save your sanity... One week down, lots more to go. As it...

Q&A – New legal rules around children in care

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Solicitor Emma Roberts offers advice around the new legal guidelines around children in care during the coronavirus pandemic. In light of the current health crisis...

Coronavirus: Uncharted Waters

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The coronavirus outbreak is transforming almost every aspect of our society at dizzying speed. DDN looks at the impact so far on treatment services...

Coronavirus advice

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Information, advice, and useful resources on coronavirus for treatment services, service users, and people who use drugs. Please send us any information you or your...

DDN Conference 2020 Postponed – click for details

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The DDN Conference 2020

Heroin Assisted Treatment – A helping hand

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Heroin Assisted Treatment (HAT) is showing dramatic progress in transforming lives. DDN reports. ‘Life was shit. I would rob Peter to pay Paul. I’d cry...

A change of heart

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  When a ‘general in the war of drugs’ calls the campaign a complete failure, it’s time to listen. DDN reports from the GPs’ conference. ‘For...

Out of commission

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With the government’s long-awaited alcohol strategy showing no signs of materialising any time soon, the newly launched Commission on Alcohol Harm is hoping to fill in some of the gaps.

Access all areas

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Phoenix Futures’ Scottish Residential Service is transforming life for clients with disabilities

A crucial conversation

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Change Grow Live’s National Naloxone Conversation event was a vital opportunity to keep up the momentum for widening access.

A glimpse of the future?

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Canada’s opioid crisis may be less reported than that in the US, but the effects have been devastating. Is this where we are headed,...

National forum for action

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Delegates at the National Needle Exchange Forum’s annual conference heard inspiring examples of taking harm reduction to the next level. James Pierce reports.  More than...

We need to talk about diamorphine

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The new diamorphine programmes may not be the holy grail that some think, says Nick Goldstein. As I’m sure many of you have noticed, diamorphine...

Emergency measures

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Although Wales has largely escaped significant treatment budget cuts, drug deaths are still rising to alarming levels. Access, and evidence-based treatment, are key to...

No time to lose

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The ‘substantial upward trend’ in drug-related deaths was explored at the latest meeting of the Drugs, Alcohol and Justice Cross-Party Parliamentary Group, as DDN...

Clinical Eye

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Let’s get moving Exercise could become a valuable part of the treatment plan, says Ishbel Straker. I have recently started to work with a personal trainer,...

Different perspectives

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We need to dig deep for inspiration and redouble our efforts against reactionary policies, heard this year’s HIT Hot Topics. DDN reports. Photography by...

The Present of a Future

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Imagine a very different version of this year’s festivities. Liam Ward finds out what it means to spend Christmas in rehab. A roaring fire, a...

Review of the year 2019

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Cash strapped Christmas Battered by Brexit, the public went to the polls yet again. In the treatment sector, meanwhile, more long-established facilities are forced to...

Hope after chaos

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It’s time to ‘get busy living’, says Tom. I had a good childhood and my parents provided all that I needed. My first years at...

Inside Out

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When delivering recovery services to prisoners, demonstrating impact is a complex but vital process, says Carwyn Gravell. Forward’s range of structured, abstinence-based treatment programmes (which...

What a long strange trip it’s been

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When DDN launched way back in 2004 Tony Blair was prime minister, the NTA was just three years old, and the money was flowing...

On the right path

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With Alcohol Awareness Week this month, Claire Carlow tells us how Forward’s alcohol pathway is revolutionising treatment in East Kent When Forward took over the...

Breaking Ties

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When prescribing regimes are preventing service users from moving on, should we be looking at new options? DDN reports ‘What makes me angry is that...

It’s all about you

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Change Grow Live wants its new strategy to come from staff and service users, says Mark Moody.

Family matters

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The families of people who use substances are unforgivably overlooked. With an election looming, read Adfam’s own five-point manifesto.

End of a relationship

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Leaving drug use behind can feel like losing a lover. Christopher Robin looks at how to cope. Perhaps you need a new perspective, a new...

Walking back to happiness

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Mark Reid on two books that consider the restorative power of walking. In The Salt Path, Ray(nor) Winn and Moth, Cer husband of 32 years,...

More than my past

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A new campaign is tackling stigma head on, says Asi Panditharatna. Read the full article in DDN Magazine ‘We believe everyone has the ability to...

Journeys of recovery

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A team of cyclists made up of staff from Humankind’s services across the country completed an epic 170-mile Ride for Recovery from Manchester to...

We need to talk about Brexit

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The implications of the political turmoil caused by Brexit are dangerous for service users says Nick Goldstein.

Up close and interpersonal

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Interpersonal group therapy has huge potential to help people in their recovery. However, ongoing supervised practice and support are critical in training effective facilitators, says Dr Tim Leighton.

The power of naloxone

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As soon as Harbour Housing introduced naloxone a life was saved. A decade on they are looking back on one of their best decisions

Agents of change

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We urgently need to become activists once more, argues Nick Wilson in his contribution to The Vision Project. Read the full article in DDN Magazine The...

Case dismissed

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Why are recommendations to improve custody-community transitions being routinely ignored when so many lives are at stake? DDN reports. As drug-related death rates continue to...

A prescription for pain

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Paul was prescribed OxyContin after an industrial injury. But that was just the start of his problems. My name is Paul. I’m 51 and live...

Thanks for Sharing

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Testing and treatment for hep C may have improved, but data sharing is lagging dangerously behind, warns a new LJWG report. Read the full article...

Upping their game

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The sixth annual Recovery Games were the biggest and best yet, says Stuart Green. Ahead of September’s Recovery Month, people from across Britain gathered to...

Another Story – Social media is stigmatising drug users

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Social media is full of stigmatising language about drug use. We should be using powerful first-person stories to create a more positive picture.

Hepatitis C Peer Education

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As we approach Hepatitis Awareness Day, Ignatious Harling shares his progress as a hep C peer educator.

Roger Howard pens an open letter to the new recovery champion...

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Roger Howard pens an open letter to the new recovery champion Ed Day, in response to our interview with him last month.

A Tangled Web: drug purchasing on the darknet

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The ‘darknet’ online marketplace has experienced significant turbulence lately, affecting the availability of different drugs. Be ready for the impact, says Kevin Flemen.

Helping families of former members of the UK Armed Forces

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Family Force A new project is reaching out to families of former members of the UK Armed Forces with substance use problems, as Rob Stebbings...

Back to Nature: Recovery Project at Phoenix Futures Shipley Park

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Phoenix Futures describe how guests at their recent Shipley Park open day were able to witness the positive impact a beautiful natural setting can...

The Recovery Street Film Festival – The bigger picture

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Junaid tells us how he became involved in making a film for the 2017 Recovery Street Film Festival. In 2015 I was using crack cocaine...

Brand New Day

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Dr Ed Day has just been appointed as the government’s drug recovery champion. He talks to DDN about the challenges and opportunities of the...

Hole in the soul – can philosophers teach us about addiction?

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Looking to the philosophers can give us valuable understanding of the nature of addiction, suggests Albert Yates. On the face of it, Classical Greek philosophy...

Emotional intelligence – Inner strength

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Emotional intelligence can be a potent tool for recovery, says Derek Fredericks. One hot summer’s day 13 years ago, I remember sitting alone on the...

Rising tide

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The ‘tough on drugs’ approach is impractical, outdated and costly in every sense, according to a meeting of the APPG for Drug Policy Reform. Considering...

Keeping clients moving

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Making sure our clients have the right skill sets for the workplace is vital to their social mobility, says Asi Panditharatna. Read the full article...

A call to engage

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Action on Addiction’s chief executive Graham Beech introduces a new Addiction Awareness Week on 10-16 June. Where did the idea come from? Everyone knows the problems...

The place to grow

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FDAP has been refurbished and offers much in the way of professional support, says Kate Halliday. Read the full article in DDN Magazine When the Federation...

Staying ahead

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Changes from CQC have felt demanding. Let’s see inspections as an opportunity, says Jay Stewart. Read the full article in DDN Magazine Last year, the Care...

Less pain, more gain

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Opiate medications don’t work for chronic pain – in fact they often make it worse. In a recent pilot scheme in Hastings run jointly by...

CZAR GAZING – Finding the right balance

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As deputy drug czar for the Blair government, Mike Trace oversaw the expansion of today’s drug and alcohol treatment system. In the fifth of...

System Failure

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Huge numbers of people accessing drug or alcohol treatment have experienced childhood sexual abuse, yet most services remain ill equipped to offer them the...

A question of why

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Existentialism can give us a fresh angle on addressing the debilitating void that follows addiction, suggests Lana Durjava. Read the full article in May 2019...

A space to grow

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We are failing to reach women, connect with them and provide a safe environment in treatment, hears DDN. Read the full article in DDN here Drug-related...

Include me in

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The inclusive cities model is a forward thinking-approach to boosting people’s recovery in the communities where they live, say Professor David Best, Professor Charlotte...

CZAR GAZING – How do we get more for less?

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As deputy drug czar for the Blair government, Mike Trace oversaw the expansion of today’s drug and alcohol treatment system. In the fourth of...

DDN Conference 2019

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Speakers at the DDN conference embraced the theme ‘Keep on Moving’. What came out very strongly was that we need to take others along...

End of life care for people with problematic substance use and...

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A special supplement on end of life care for people with problematic substance use and their families. People with problematic substance use, and their families,...

CZAR GAZING – What is substance misuse treatment for?

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As deputy drug czar for the Blair government, Mike Trace oversaw the expansion of today’s drug and alcohol treatment system. In the third of...

CZAR GAZING – So how are we doing?

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As deputy drug czar for the Blair government, Mike Trace oversaw the expansion of today’s drug and alcohol treatment system. In the second of...

Countdown to hep C eradication

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NHS England’s target date to eliminate hepatitis C is now just six years away. DDN hears what progress has been made, and what’s left...

Becoming visible: homelessness

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Homelessness may be a complex issue but we know how to make a difference, heard delegates at a conference that brought together academics and...

Street Smart: integrated outreach

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The ISEU project is taking street outreach to the next level, says Peter Burleigh. Read the full article in DDN magazine I’ve been going into hostels,...

A capital idea

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WDP’s Capital Card scheme has been helping to incentivise and empower service users, the team tells DDN. Read the full article in DDN Magazine People who...

Reading the signals

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Gay men can find it very difficult to seek help when ‘chemsex’ becomes addictive. Leon Knoops explored the issue at Hit Hot Topics. Chemsex is...

So, how are we doing?

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As deputy drug czar for the Blair government, Mike Trace oversaw the expansion of today’s drug and alcohol treatment system. In the second of...

Finding a voice

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Katie’s experience of stigma made her determined to help herself and others – the beginning of Adfam’s #StigmaMakesMeFeel campaign. She shares her story, with...

Driving Change

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The theme of this year’s Hit Hot Topics conference was ‘The Road Ahead’. As each speaker began to explore the theme, it became obvious...

Final destination?

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‘The road to recovery – political destination or patient journey?’ was the theme of this year’s RCGP and SMMGP primary care conference. DDN reports. ‘None...

Beyond the gate

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Prisons have a unique opportunity to introduce a life-saving naloxone strategy, so is the message getting through? DDN reports. Naloxone saves lives, and for people...

At the cutting edge

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DDN looks back at a year that saw cuts continue to bite, deaths continue to rise, ‘county lines’ become headline news – and a...

An equal partnership

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Meaningful service user involvement is about give and take, says Mark Pryke. Read the full article in DDN Magazine My role is to help increase opportunities...

CZAR GAZING – The golden years

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As deputy drug czar for the Blair government, Mike Trace oversaw the expansion of today’s drug and alcohol treatment system. In the first of...

The right to challenge

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Know your ground when contesting CQC inspection reports and ratings, says Samantha Cox. Read it in DDN. CQC now has the power to rate independent...

Drugs, Alcohol and Justice Cross-Party Parliamentary Group.

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Good commissioning goes beyond purchasing, hears DDN. A robust discussion on commissioning was the focus of the year’s final meeting of the Drugs, Alcohol and...

The power of connection

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A sensitive approach can be a lifeline to women whose lives revolve around drugs and sex work, as DDN reports. ‘Without these guys I probably...

Clear steer on alcohol

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Launching the Alcohol Charter, key figures from the sector called for a definitive alcohol strategy based on evidence, as DDN reports. Read the full article...

The Right Fix?

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Safe injecting sites, drug consumption rooms, safe injecting facilities, fix rooms or the rather more grandiose medically supervised injecting centres are just some of...

Treatment crisis

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Action is needed now to stop the spiralling costs of buprenorphine, says Roz Gittins. We want to offer high quality, safe, cost-effective services to as...

Playing the long game

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Tony Adams’ glittering football career could not mask deep-seated problems that needed to be tackled. He shared his story at the NHSSMPA conference. ‘You don’t...

State of the sector: Time to talk

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When the going gets tough, is it time to get round the table, asks DDN. Read the full article in October's DDN Magazine A couple of...

Fighting for a C change

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A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to finally eliminate hepatitis C is within our grasp, says Professor Ashley Brown. Read the full article in October DDN Magazine When I...

Giving the best chance

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This year’s NHSSMPA conference was dedicated to creating lasting behaviour change, as DDN reports. Read the full report in October's DDN Magazine ‘How can we give...

The space to grow

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Far away from the usual distractions, Kenward’s residents are given the chance of a new start. DDN reports. Read the full article in October's DDN...

Opening new doors

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After running for 25 years in Glasgow, Phoenix Futures’ Scottish residential service has moved to a new home within the city. Read the full article...

Adios Recovery Riviera?

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Why are we sending people miles away to rehab instead of supporting them to survive in their own community, asks Mark Gilman. Read the full...

In safer hands?

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When should the Mental Capacity Act be used to make decisions on behalf of vulnerable people? Mike Ward unpicks a complicated issue. Read the full...

In a spin: an insight into gambling addiction

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With the depth of painful personal experience, Owen Baily explains why gambling treatment is still a lottery. Read the full article in DDN Magazine With sweaty...

No quick fix on painkiller addiction

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We need to rethink our relationship with pain, says Dr Simone Yule. Read the full article in DDN Magazine It’s becoming a well-told and oft-repeated story:...

Gambling with public health

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Let’s increase the chances of a good outcome for gambling addiction, says Lord Victor Adebowale. Read the article in September DDN magazine Gambling is a common...

Height of awareness: peer-to-peer overdose prevention

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Peer-to-peer naloxone initiatives are proving an effective way to tackle overdose risk. Lee Collingham describes how SCUF are grasping the opportunity in Nottingham. Read the...

In search of excellence – new phase of CQC

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David Finney gives his guide to understanding the next phase of CQC Inspection. Read the full article in DDN magazine The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has...

Perfect partners

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As competition for funding heats up it’s time for charities to form meaningful and creative partnerships with the private sector, says Eleanor Youdell. Read this...

Puncturing the myths?

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Acupuncture is commonly used as a complementary therapy in the substance use field. But how effective is it, asks Natalie Davies. Read this article in...

A foot in the door

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Seeking healthcare can be daunting for homeless people. DDN visits a practice in north London that takes every opportunity to engage. Read this article in...

High stakes

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While a harmless diversion for many, for some people gambling can mean losing everything – even their life. With treatment provision still sparse, Jody...

High risk strategy

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Failure to provide naloxone at the point of release for most prisoners is putting lives at risk, says John Jolly. Read this article in DDN Those...

A patient worth saving?

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We need to talk about service user involvement, says Nick Goldstein. Service user involvement, in one form or another, has been around a long time. An...

Crack Cocaine – Cracks in the mirror

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Could a recent growth in crack cocaine use indicate its move to social acceptability – and how should we respond? Kevin Flemen examines the...

Drawing on experience

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Does continuing professional development (CPD) have a purpose for volunteers and people without professional qualifications? Absolutely, says Kate Halliday, who explains how to get...

Surviving and thriving: Kaleidoscope at 50

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‘It’s down to you guys that people get a chance of a new life.’ Eleanor Conway pauses for a serious moment during a ‘stand-up’...

Dying with their rights on?

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Should we be doing more to protect people from harmful drinking, asks Mike Ward. Read the full article in June 2018 issue of DDN Some people...

Back to reality – treating ARBD

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Getting the right treatment can reverse effects of alcohol-related brain damage, says Alyson Smith. Read the full article in June 2018 issue of DDN Alcohol-related brain...

Bang for your buck

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The launch of the ‘Decency, safety, security’ strategy for prisons was greeted with mixed reactions by the Drugs, Alcohol, and Justice Cross-Party Parliamentary Group....

A Winner’s Tale

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Last year Kelly’s Story won the Recovery Street Film Festival. In 2015, Kelly Judge was sleeping rough on the streets of London with no...

Straight to the point – NNEF conference

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The National Needle Exchange Forum focused on some vital harm reduction issues, as DDN reports. Photography by Nigel Brunsdon. Read the full article in May...

Déjà vu

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While numbers of crack users may be on the increase, the basics of providing an effective service for them haven’t changed, says Danny Hames. I...

Access for autism

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Are alcohol services meeting the needs of adults with autism? Alcohol Concern and the University of Bath are working to improve support for this...

Media Savvy

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The news, and the skews, in the national media. The history of prohibition proves it fuels gangsterism and forces up potency, from moonshine replacing beer...

Resounding Victory

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National judo champion Stuart Pascoe thought his sports career was over as his alcohol use spiralled. But with help from Addaction the 46-year-old has...

The Fear Inside

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A study of people who used heroin in prison gives vital clues on reaching out to this significant and vulnerable cohort. Lana Durjava shares...

Recovering Through Nature

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Phoenix Futures share the growth of their exciting Purple Camel Project. Read the full article in May 2018 DDN Magazine Phoenix Futures we have been...

‘All or nothing’ – are 12-steps right for everyone?

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The 12-step fellowships are a life-saver for some – but for others, the concept of total surrender can do more harm than good. Alex...

PCCs lead the call for change

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It used to be that senior police, like politicians, would only speak out on drug policy from the safety of retire­ment. These days, however,...

Harm reduction in Belfast

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Belfast’s injecting drugs crisis has prompted a call for action – to bring a drug consumption room to the city as quickly as possible....

Making pathways for commissioning

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Commissioners are on a mission to do things better. But how can they take on board the many complex health issues with less money...

How treatment services need to adapt to survive

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If treatment is to survive it needs to make a more convincing case and reach out to new groups, argues Paul North. Seven years ago...

Brief encounter: what happened to alcohol brief interventions?

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Alcohol brief interventions promised a way of improving the nation’s public health – so what happened to this ambitious initiative? Mike Ashton looks back...

One size fits nobody

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With much anecdotal evidence that people are losing their OST of choice, a meeting was held at the DDN conference to ask, ‘are you...

Vital Links

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The group of NHS providers, NHSSMPA, is looking at new ways to make sure service users stay connected with essential skilled healthcare. ‘Nostalgia isn’t what...

CQC consultation: Have your say!

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Don’t miss the chance to change CQC inspections, says David Finney. The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has recently issued a consultation on changes to the...

The Heart of the Matter

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Can we meet six basic challenges to repair a fragmented treatment system, asks Paul Hayes. Brexit continues to dominate mainstream debate. But far more important...

Commissioning for change

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An independent expert faculty has been set up to consider a vital new approach to commissioning. Mark Gilman, Paul Musgrave, Niamh Cullen, Terry Pearson...

The right focus

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An effective review of commissioning will need input and inspir­a­tion from everyone involved – practitioners, commissioners, and especially those using services. DDN reports. There have...

SWEAT – a new project for steroid users

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A new project is helping steroid users to recalibrate their lives while providing evidence for better treatment, says Jody Leach. At Open Road we launched...

Anxious times

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Shocked by cases in his constituency, Bambos Charalambous MP is calling for government action on Xanax. The powerful sedative Xanax is being used by young...

Partner up

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Co-production and partnership working can help organisations thrive in troubled times. DDN hears from the MD of Equinox Care and Penrose Criminal Justice Services,...

Alcohol strategy is ripe for refreshment

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Time is of the essence in overhauling the alcohol strategy, says the Drugs, Alcohol and Justice APPG. DDN reports. ‘We were asked by government, “what...

A moral imperative

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One year on, an alliance of 13 NHS trusts is gaining momentum in addressing the failings of the sector and developing more effective pathways...

Free to breathe

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Should e-cigarettes be provided free to smokers who cannot or will not quit, asks Neil McKeganey. While smoking rates have steadily declined in recent years,...

The ‘Cycle of Change’ – A step too far?

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Have we been right to embrace the ‘cycle of change’, asks Natalie Davies. When Bill Wilson, who went on to co-found Alcoholics Anonymous, was hospitalised for...

DDN Conference – Session three

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The day’s final session, ‘Insights’, heard personal stories about naloxone, the lack of support for problem gambling, and properly engaging with your past to...

DDN Conference – Session two

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The morning’s second session, ‘The Big Conversation’, focused on the shape of service user involvement and how it should look in the future. Read the...

DDN Conference – Opening Session

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The day’s first session focused the current state of play in the treatment sector, the vital role of user involvement, and where things needed...

Harm reduction on a knife edge

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Disinvestment in harm reduction is hurting services and failing clients, say those struggling to maintain life-saving provision. DDN reports. ‘A couple of weeks ago I...

Commissioning is risking lives, say GPs

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Poor commissioning practice is putting patients’ lives at stake, declared the GPs’ conference. ‘Only recommission services if they are ineffective, dangerous or wasteful – not...

Review of the year

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Hanging on in there Another year of tightened purse strings and record drug deaths for a weary and beleaguered sector, compounded by the shock closure...

Hit Hot Topics: The word on the streets

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The Word on the Streets This year’s Hit Hot Topics asked, how can we give harm reduction most impact on the frontline? DDN reports, pics...

There’s something in the heroin

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Claire Gilbert, Tony Margetts, Gilda Nunez, Bryony Sedgwick and Tim Allison describe their response to the emergence of fentanyl and carfentanil in their local...

Survey demonstrates need for improvement of hepatitis C services

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An estimated 160,000 people are living with hepatitis C in England. Yet, in 2015, fewer than 12,000 people were diagnosed and fewer than 10,000...

New drugs minister pledges support

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Addaction redoubles commitment to tackling stigma We are determined to deal with the scourge that is stigma,’ said Lord Carlile at Addaction’s 50th birthday event...

The iCAAD Knowledge Hub

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Stay with it Tenacity is vital when it comes to working with troubled young people, Addaction’s Sam Dixon tells DDN. When Sam Dixon from Addaction’s YZUP...

Domestic violence: Stopping the hurt

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Perpetrators of domestic violence are being helped to challenge and change their behaviour, as Phil Price explains. For all the evidence linking domestic violence with...

Take part in the Global Drug Survey

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Global Drug Survey 2018 – the latest version of the world’s largest drug survey – has just been launched. Prof Adam Winstock asks for your...

Keeping older users in treatment

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Playing for Keeps With Scotland experiencing ever-higher numbers of drug deaths, its government is developing a strategy to keep vulnerable older users in treatment. DDN...

Commissioning: What’s the Name of the Game?

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Has commissioning lost its way – or are there opportunities to be grasped? DDN reports. The commissioning structure needs an overhaul, according to the...

Alcohol Awareness Week

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Family focus Alcohol Awareness Week 2017 shines a spotlight on alcohol and families, sending the message that support is always available. DDN reports. Alcohol Concern has partnered...

Just Be Yourself: support in the LGBT+ community

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Robert Mee grew up feeling that he didn’t belong and used alcohol and drugs to counter his loneliness. Now, as chief executive of a...

Strategy for Survival

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Challenging times mean smaller organisations must embrace new ways of thinking, says Caroline Cole. We operate in difficult financial times, and for charities delivering addiction...

Losing the legacy

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Mark Reid’s alcohol problems started with his dad and became the focus of his life. He describes how Nacoa gave him the insight and...

One Love

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The best way to tackle the stigma of gender stereotyping is with an open heart. DDN talks to Beck Gee-Cohen. ‘I was pretty functional when...

Recovery thrives

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As Recovery Month continues to go from strength to strength with fundraisers, festivals and fun, DDN hears three inspiring accounts of this year’s activities. A...

Making it real

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How do you bring a recovery conference to life? Jamie Gratton shares his experience. We have just enjoyed our first Aquarius recovery conference, celebrating how...

The bigger picture

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Recovery should be about freedom. So why aren’t we embracing diversity, asks Mark Prest. Picture an addict, what do you see? Someone white, probably work­ing...

Risks of pregabalin and gabapentin

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Death rates have risen dramatically for prescription drugs pregabalin and gabapentin. Let’s be aware of the risks, says Clare Kingsbury-Bell. Drug-related deaths linked to pregabalin...

Sowing recovery at ESH Works

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ESH Works was built from a dream of peer-based recovery. Paul Urmston shares their story. I used drink to cope. I didn’t really fit in...